Should I Apologize?

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Should I Apologize?

Postby blubrdfrend » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:52 pm

I recently attended a Christmas party that included a group of ladies and our husbands. This group of ladies travel together and attend retreats so they know that I suffer with lymphedema. We're quilters. Yes, we buy fabric, cut it up, then sew it back together. During the party several of the ladies cautioned me about standing or walking. I crossed the room to look at a Nativity set and was immediately told to sit down. I am very even tempered and rarely become irritated. I made a sharp comment about not intending to sit upon my behind the rest of my life. Actually I probably will sit upon my behind the rest of my life. I was so irritated that I seriously considered dropping out of the group. My husband says that they were just concerned about me. I felt like I was treated differently in front of the group. Meanwhile do I owe an apology or should the ladies give me a break and let me decide when to sit?
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Re: Should I Apologize?

Postby Cassie » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:39 pm

Blubrdfriend, I just saw your post and wanted to say I'm so sorry this happened to you. The trouble with these situations is that no one is really wrong, exactly, so it's tricky deciding what to do. I can sure see why you got cranky, and I wonder how the others have handled that. Have any of them spoken to you about it? Have you seen them again, and if so, how did they act toward you? Are they offended? Or pitying? What I hope is that they're understanding and will give you the room you need to make your own decisions, as well as learn some boundaries for expressing their concerns after this.

And on the other hand, I can see that they are aware of your needs and wanting to help, so it's good that your husband was willing to speak up for them. As a mom of kids with diabetes I know how hard it is to find constructive ways to express my interest and concern for their health without robbing them of their right to make their own life decisions. They don't want/need me hovering like a helicopter (whap! whap! whap!), but I do care what choices they make because I love them. So it's been a learning curve for me too.

Where to go from here?!!! If you feel you were unnecessarily rude (or if you just feel "guilty" and want to get past it), consider apologizing. What would be even better, if it's possible, would be to use the experience as an opening to talk with them about what you appreciate about the group and the ways you'd like them to express their concern for you in the future. Giving up the quilting group (if it's a good one) would only hurt you and further isolate you -- not an outcome that would be helpful for anyone, and certainly not their intention.

It's awfully hard to feel our limitations, but to have them shouted out in public is downright painful. But please don't retreat -- get in there and straighten those quilters out!
Big hugs! Let us know what you decide and how it goes for you,
Cassie
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Re: Should I Apologize?

Postby blubrdfrend » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:26 pm

Cassie, thank you so much for your answer. Our group has not met again but I usually receive regular phone calls from a few of the members. They are not calling so I guess I should feel guilty. You are right, it will not hurt me to apologize. I will do it tomorrow and explain that I am sometimes frustrated about the length of time that I can stand or walk. At a retreat, I shared a cabin with 5 other ladies. They saw my leg which I know is a shock to people who are not familiar with lymphedema. Evidently they have shared their concern with the rest. You are right, they are concerned and can not curb that helicopter thing.

I am so sorry to hear that your children have diabetes. My daughter-in-law is diabetic. I am praying that my grandchildren will not have it.
Betty
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Re: Should I Apologize?

Postby Cassie » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:35 pm

Betty, prayers that it goes well with them today. True, they're having trouble curbing their helicopter instincts, but they need to learn to do that, and Im sure hoping they're open to learning.

Brava to you for your calm courage in attending the retreat and making yourself vulnerable! It's so easy to hide out, but your doing that was so healthy -- downright inspiring! Everyone is afraid of what they don't understand, so helping them to understand like that is a gift to them and all of us too. Thank you!

True confession time: my kids are adopted, and we knew they had diabetes when we welcomed them home. So for us, their diabetes is a unique blessing that made them ours. :wink: But I too hope your grandkids miss this one -- it's a constant struggle. Our daughter just got a diabetes alert service dog to help her know when her blood sugars are too high or too low. Amazing! As a bonus, the pup's personality is so feisty and cute she keeps us all laughing. Now all we need is service dogs who can do MLD! :D (Seriously though, if you like dogs there are service dogs that are very helpful at fetching things for those who have mobility problems -- everything from dropped keys to the cell phone when it rings. For that purpose they can be big dogs or lap dogs, so the choice is entirely yours.)

Onward with the quilts!
Gentle hugs,
Cassie
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Re: Should I Apologize?

Postby blubrdfrend » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:45 pm

Cassie, our son is adopted and so is his wife. Years ago when they first married a friend told them that they looked alike. After hearing that they were both adopted she decided that they really didn't favor as much as she thought. lol
We have three dogs. One is a black lab that my brother brought to us last year. The owner went to a nursing home and is probably still paying his former health care worker for caring for the dog. My brother saw the dog in a cage outside with no shade or water. He offered them money and they took it. We realized recently that the dog will sit, beg, crawl and even open the gate on command. We think that he was a service dog but we don't know what type. The health care worker won't give up the owner's name.
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Re: Should I Apologize?

Postby Cassie » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:24 pm

Betty, what a funny story about your son and his wife. People never cease to astound me with the things they'll say!

What an interesting dog you have! You must be soooo curious about his past, and I'm so glad your brother rescued him. It's intriguing to think what kinds of services he provided for his former owner. Have you tried him out with "Get it" or "Take it" commands to see if he'll pick things up for you? Dogs trained to do that usually use those commands, plus "Give it" to place it in your hand and "Paws up" to put their front paws up on a counter to pay for items and such. Sure would be funny if you already had a trained helper and you didn't even know it!

Wishing you a breathtaking Holiday season!
Cassie
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